Messaging & E-Visits

South Shore MyChart’s messaging platform is a convenient way to contact your care team and manage different aspects of your patient experience.

Many patients also use MyChart’s messaging platform for medical advice, whether asking a question about a new symptom or offering an update on a chronic condition.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in messages seeking medical advice, which often require extensive time, research, and expertise from your care team.

Effective February 1, 2023, some messages requiring clinical expertise will be converted to E-Visits, which may be billed to your insurance.

This will allow us to continue to meet your medical needs on your terms while helping our providers address the high volume of MyChart messages.

Learn more about E-Visits and when messages may be billed to insurance below.

Frequently Asked Questions: MyChart Messaging & E-Visits

An E-Visit is a convenient way to receive care for a simple medical issue without going into your provider’s office or logging on to a scheduled telehealth visit.

E-Visits occur entirely within MyChart’s secure messaging platform: patients can send messages regarding symptoms, health concerns, or medical advice questions.

Your provider will then review the messages and respond in a timely manner with a detailed care plan, which may include a new prescription, adjustments to existing medications, a referral, and more. 

The goal of an E-Visit is the same as an in-person or telehealth visit: to get you the care and advice you need, as conveniently as possible.

If a message is too complex to be accomplished via an E-Visit, you will be advised to schedule an in-person visit with us or at a local urgent care office.

Please note that E-Visits should not be used for urgent or time-sensitive concerns.

For most patients, E-Visits will be billed to insurance as a form of virtual care, similar to a telehealth visit. 

Most insurers cover these visits, but patients may be responsible for a copay. Additional charges may apply for patients with a deductible or if these visits aren’t covered.

Patients should verify all coverage options with their insurer prior to initiating a MyChart E-Visit.

No – MyChart messaging will remain a convenient and effective way to manage many parts of your patient experience without resulting in a bill.

Free messages include:

  • Scheduling an appointment
  • Requesting a prescription refill
  • Changing your primary care provider
  • Questions about billing
  • Other customer service-related inquiries

In addition, questions about a visit or lab results within the previous seven days would not meet the criteria of a MyChart E-Visit and would not result in a bill.

MyChart messages that require a clinician to make a clinical assessment or medical decision, order a test or medication, or review a patient’s medical history to respond properly will result in billable E-Visits.

Real-life examples include:

  • A new issue or symptom requiring assessment or referral
  • Adjustments to existing medications
  • Check-ins, flare-ups, or changes in a chronic condition
  • Requests to complete certain patient forms


MyChart messages can be convenient for both patients and care teams – however, the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in the healthcare landscape have drastically increased the volume of messages.

While care teams make every attempt to provide patients with timely, appropriate responses, many requests for medical advice fall outside of established care protocols.

In addition, assessing and responding to requests for medical advice via MyChart message consume a great deal of our providers’ time, on top of seeing patients in clinic.

These changes will help patients get convenient access to care through the appropriate channel while also ensuring that our processes are sustainable for our providers.

These changes also reflect a broader shift towards modernizing our virtual care options and allowing patients to access care in their preferred manner.

MyChart E-Visits work in two ways: initiated by the patient and initiated by the care team.

Patients who know they’d like to choose an E-Visit can do so by logging in to MyChart, selecting “Messages,” “Send a Message,” and “New E-Visit.”

This will begin the E-Visit process and allow patients to communicate any health issues or concerns via secure message.

In other cases, patients may send their care team a message with a medical advice question that meets the criteria for an E-Visit. 

The care team will then reply to the patient with the option to start an E-Visit. Patients can choose to accept or decline the E-Visit based on their needs.

No. E-Visits are optional.

In some cases, patients may prefer to choose a telehealth or in-person appointment instead, which our team will schedule at the earliest opportunity.

If your message results in a scheduled telehealth or in-person appointment, you will not be billed for the E-Visit.

In other cases, patients may elect to discuss the content of their message at a future appointment.

Your care team will make every effort to respond to your E-Visit inquiries as efficiently as possible.

In most cases, patients will receive a response within three to five business days.

E-Visits should not be used for urgent or time-sensitive concerns.

In those cases, we encourage patients to schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment, visit their nearest walk-in urgent care center, or dial 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.